Latest Public Sector News


Contractors behind 17 school closures agree to pay in settlement with Edinburgh council

The City of Edinburgh Council is set to agree a deal with the contractors at the centre of the closure of 17 schools in 2016.

Edinburgh council and the Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP) – a PFI consortium which is comprised of Amey and Miller Construction – announced the proposed settlement agreement which will see the ESP or their subcontractors pay for all structural and defect rectification works to the school buildings.

Under the agreement, which will be discussed by councillors in a committee meeting on Tuesday, the local authority will keep an agreed sum of money regarding the work to “ensure there has been no cost to the public purse” and a new independent inspection and monitoring regime will be introduced.

The council said the proposed settlement sum exceeds the associated closure-related costs incurred by the council, and that money from the settlement would be used to carry out further remedial works identified on buildings across the whole council, including schools.

Seventeen schools in Edinburgh were closed indefinitely in 2016 over safety concerns, leaving more than 7,000 pupils and their parents stuck until alternative arrangements were put in place.

The schools were part of a wider programme which saw 17 schools built or refurbished following a £360m deal between the council and a private finance consortium under the Public Private Partnership (PPP1) scheme.

Several major issues with the infrastructure and “further serious defects” found in remedial work led to the council announcing that 10 primary schools, five secondaries, two additional support needs schools, and a neighbour centre would close.

Edinburgh council leader Adam McVey commented: “This has been a lengthy and complex process but I’m pleased that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with ESP.

“This settlement provides significant benefits to our schools and local communities and crucially means the works carried out on the PPP1 schools came at no cost to the council.”

The deputy leader Cammy Day welcomed the news that ESP had taken responsibility, and said the priority was implementing the recommendations from Professor John Cole in his independent inquiry into the closures in 2017.

A spokesperson for ESP stated: “This is a significant and positive development for all of the schools impacted by the closures in 2016.

“As the council report shows we have made strenuous efforts to reach an agreement that reflects our commitment to work in partnership with the council and avoids the need for difficult and expensive legal action.”

The spokesperson added: “We would like to reiterate our apologies to all those affected by the closures and say again that the safety of the children and staff throughout the PPP1 school estate remains our primary concern.”

Image credit - theasis


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >